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America’s Belief in the Second Coming is Stifling Climate Progress

It looks like the “Party of No” and a minority of Regressives will continue to deny facts, support corporate oil and gas giants, and stifle America’s progress, all the while claiming infallibility as an excuse for their actions.

A new study suggests that the United States has been impeded, in part, by the Biblical “end time” belief. Research by University of Pittsburgh’s David C. Barker and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado revealed that the belief, held by a large number of Americans, that the earth has a predetermined expiration date, is a motivating factor behind resistance to addressing climate change.

The Raw Story reports that the study is based on data from the 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, which found that belief in the Second Coming of Christ reduced the likelihood of supporting government action on climate change. “[I]t stands to reason that most non-believers would support preserving the Earth for future generations, but that end-times believers would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised,” the researchers explained.

The belief that the Earth’s preservation is unimportant has been represented by legislators like Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. During a 2009 subcommittee hearing on climate change, Shimkus said that man will not end the Earth because only God can do that. To argue that man-made climate change doesn’t matter because only God can destroy the earth is like going to the funeral of a 30-year-old raging alcoholic and drug addict and saying, “Well, I guess it was just his time.”

It seems logical that one who believes in God should, by extension, care for and value God’s creations. Rather, some Christians and conservatives spend extensive amounts of time and resources trying to fight, disprove, and inhibit those who are trying to protect and care for the Earth.

According to Barker and Bearce, “Because of institutions such as the Electoral College, the winner-take-all representation mechanism, and the Senate filibuster… minority interests often successfully block majority preferences. Thus, even if the median voter supports policies designed to slow global warming, legislation to effect such change could find itself dead on arrival if the median Republican voter strongly resists public policy environmentalism at least in part because of end-times beliefs.”

Not only does the desire to exploit the Earth and its creatures solely for man’s benefit contradict the Judeo-Christian premise that the earth is given to humanity by God and is intended to benefit all future generations, it also asserts that the believer is infallible, by totally rejecting the possibility that his/her beliefs could be wrong.

Alisha Mims is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.

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